Utah solar power facts
Average cost of a 5kw solar power system in 2016
Price shown before incentives
Average payback time
Average lifetime savings
Price shown after repayments of capital
Levelized cost of solar energy
If you don't get solar
The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years
(per kW of peak DC solar panels)
Cash flow graph based on cash purchase of a 5kw system
Solar companies in Utah that provide pricing through the Solar-Estimate marketplace
Solar power in Utah
The residential solar sector in Utah has been a surprisingly strong performer during 2016 and this trend looks set to continue during 2017 subject to an adverse ruling by the PUC on net metering.
What is surprising is that this strong performance has been achieved despite that fact that Utah has some of the lowest power prices in the nation.
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Best brands of solar panels
To find the best brands of solar panels you can use America's most trusterd solar panel comparison and reviews website, SolarReviews.
However, reviews of solar panels can be a bit meaningless because most consumer owners have not had any issues and so whilst solar company reviews are very important when choosing solar installers they are of less use when choosing solar panels.
For more information to help you make an informed decision about this topic, I would recommend this article about buying solar panels.
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Compare solar quotes from the top solar companies in Utah
How much electricity will solar panels produce in Utah
Solar panels produce different amounts of energy in different locations.
Around the Salt Lake City area solar panels installed on a south facing 30 degree pitch roof will typically produce:
1,570 kWh per year per 1kw of peak DC (direct current) capacity
For more information about how your location, roof direction and roof tilt affects solar power production use the solar panels calculator and enter your address below.
What rebates, solar tax credits and other solar incentives are available in Utah
Utah State Solar Tax Credit
In addition to net metering and the 30% federal solar tax credit you are also entitled to a 25% state solar tax credit, capped at $2,000, when you install solar panels on your home.
As with the federal solar tax credit this is a tax credit and so you have to have a state income tax liability to use it but if you do then this further improves the return on investment you get for installing solar panels in Utah.
So why is installing solar panels for your home so popular in Utah?
If you look at solar panels in Utah as a whole there are five factors that make installing solar panels on your home attractive:
- The federal 30% solar tax credit (which every state has).
- Net metering meaning solar customers get a full 1 for 1 credit for kWh (kilowatt hours) of solar power exported to the grid. This is effectively a free battery because it allows you to effectively get the benefit of your solar power whenever you need to consume power not just when the sun is shining and the solar power is being generated.
- A state tax credit of up to $2,000 which applies in addition to the 30% federal solar tax credit.
- Utah has great solar irradiation meaning solar panels installed on a south facing roof in Utah will produce more kWh kilowatt hours of power than what the same panels would produce in most other locations around the country.
- Utah has legislation that supports third party ownership of panels and means solar companies can offer you a zero down lease or PPA, they can take the incentives and just charge you either a fixed monthly lease fee or a fee per kWh of power produced by the solar panels.
Net Metering in Utah
Net metering is when your utility company is required to separately record what electricity you purchase from the grid and what solar power generated by your solar panels is exported to the grid.
Net metering means you are only charged for the net of these two amounts.
So , for example if you buy in 500 kWh at night or other times when your solar is producing little from the grid but export 300 kWh over a month then the utility would only bill you for 200 kWh of power in that period.
Utah law requires Rocky Mountain Power (RMP), the only investor-owned utility in the state, and almost all electric co-ops to offer net metering for solar panels.
Under this policy, net metering is available for residential systems up to 25 kilowatts (kW) in capacity and non-residential systems up to two Megawatt (MW) in capacity.
However, only Rocky Mountain Power are required to offer full 1 for 1 net metering and some of the smaller electric co-ops only offer what is known as avoided cost net metering.
What this means is that in the case of Rocky Mountain Power they credit you 1 kWh of usage for every 1 kWh of excess solar that you export to the grid.
In the case of the smaller co-ops they may credit you only 1 kWh for every 2 kWh that you export to the grid.
In November 2016 Rocky Mountain Power company lodged an application with the Utah Public Utility Commission to reduce the amount it credits customers for excess solar generation exported to the grid.
However, they have said this change will not affect existing net metering customers.
What this suggests to me is that it is very important that if you are a homeowner in Utah to get your solar panels installed before there is a change in this net metering law.
Regardless of what you want to know about the economics of installing solar panels for your home or business in Utah we have a solar calculator that can show you exactly the information your require.
You can either use our full monty solar calculator that shows you everything you could possibly want to know or you can use one of our range of smaller calculators for specific solar calculations that focus on providing you only with the specific information you require.
What you can find out about installing solar panels in Utah using our full monty solar calculator
This solar calculator requires you to input your address, utility company, your average monthly power spend - It tells you:
- What size solar system do you need?
Answers the question of How many solar panels do I need?
- How many square feet of roof space you need for solar panels
- Solar electricity production in annual kWh (kilowatt hours) you can expect from your solar system in Utah
- The value of solar tax credits and other incentives you are entitled to based on the estimated size of system you need, your location and your utility provider.
- Likely cost based on an average of prices charged for solar systems of that size in the last year in Utah or Salt Lake City;
- The likely payback period on your solar panels and your investment return.
- Your total lifetime solar savings based on each of the major solar finance options, a cash purchase, a cash purchase funded with a HELOC sol (home equity line of credit) and a zero down PPA or third party lease product.
If you want to see all of the above but also see live pricing, the three best solar deals available in your city and get binding quotes from each of these solar companies then use this solar panels calculator. This calculator requires you to also input your name and contact details because most of our 200+ installer partners will only authorize the sharing of their live solar pricing where we have validated that you are a real homeowner with a home in their service area. We respect the privacy of your data and only share your contact details with the solar companies you ask us to get binding quotes from.
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How much do solar panels cost in Utah
$3.10 per watt
Cash purchased solar system
Before 30% solar tax credit
$3.50 per watt
Financed solar system
Before 30% solar tax credit
Av. 15 year term, 2.5% price escalator
What are the pros and cons of buying solar panels for your home in Utah
The advantages of installing solar panels in Utah is there is both state based incentives and the federal tax credit. In addition Utah also has one of the highest levels of solar irradiation in the country meaning solar panels installed on your home in Utah produce more power than in most other parts of the country.
The disadvantage of installing solar panelsfor your home in Utah is that power prices are lower in Utah than what they are in most other parts of the country and so this means each kilowatt hour of solar power produced saves you less than in states where power prices are higher. However, the state tax credit and the high solar production from your panels more than make up for this and I think home owners in Utah will be kicking themselves they didn't install solar panels while these generous incentives are around if they miss the boat. Enter your details to calculate the cost and savings you are likely to get from installing solar panels for your home.